26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, 27 when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. 28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, 30 would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, 31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. 32 For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; 33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.
The time will come for all fools when disaster strikes. And then it will be too late to turn to wisdom. The consequences of their folly cannot be avoided nor turned back. Wisdom, who had appealed to them almost shamelessly, will now mock them as they mocked her. They shall “eat the fruit of their way and have their fill of their own devices.”
Why such a heartless response from wisdom. Shouldn’t she always be available to anyone who would turn to her? Shouldn’t foolishness be pardonable when a fool comes to his senses? Three thoughts to note here. One, there must eventually be a point of no return. Disaster can be avoided only so many times. The day of Final Disaster (the Day of Judgment) will come. Folly must reap its consequences. The fools are given many times to repent. Wisdom goes daily into the streets calling out to fools to turn to her. Fools many times reap smaller consequences of their behavior that should cause them to listen up. Fools will earn what they have ingrained in themselves.
Two, fools are in their position not because of mental deficiency but because of a willful attitude. They hate knowledge; they despise counsel and reproof. Teachers understand this. They know that what marks the achieving student from the failing student has little to do with ability and everything to do with motivation. Thus, the disaster coming upon fools is what they have brought upon themselves.
Three, fools choose not “the fear of the Lord.” God does take folly personally, because it is ultimately a rejection of him. The fool does not acknowledge God, or if he does he acknowledges God through conscious rebellion. This is what marks him a fool. The fool and the wicked are synonymous. A fool is wicked because he is rebelling against God; the wicked is a fool because it is foolish to rebel against the One who sees all things and cannot be prevented from carrying out justice.
Is it not ironic that we who do turn to God through Christ are counted as fools? But which would you rather have – to be counted a fool by the world or a fool by God? Pray for the foolish of the world, who are no different from us before the Spirit intervened. Pray for the Holy Spirit to make fools of the world into fools for Christ.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org